Abstract

In standard frequency-discrimination experiments either the retinal spatial frequencies (cycles per degree) or the object spatial frequencies (real world) could be compared, because the retinal and object frequency differences are the same. Current models of spatial-frequency discrimination assume that observers compare the retinal frequencies. I test this assumption by presenting gratings at different viewing distances (with strong depth cues). The object frequencies of the gratings bear the same relationship that they do in a standard frequency-discrimination experiment, but the retinal frequency of the more distant grating is always markedly higher than that of the near grating. The observer’s task is to compare the object spatial frequencies. This change from one depth to two (with no change in the stimulus object) has a negligible effect on the observer’s performance, suggesting that observers compare object frequencies even in standard spatial-frequency-discrimination experiments. This conclusion is supported by the findings that (1) observers appear unable to learn to compare retinal frequencies and (2) the interstimulus interval has no effect (over the range 0–1020 msec), implying long-term storage of the visual information. Suggestions are made about why these results are consistent with good system design.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [PubMed]
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    [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. J. Hirsch, R. Hylton, “Limits of spatial-frequency discrimination as evidence of neural interpolation,”J. Opt. Soc. Am. 72, 1367–1374 (1982).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]

1985 (3)

1984 (1)

1983 (5)

1982 (2)

1981 (1)

A. B. Watson, J. G. Robson, “Discrimination at threshold: labelled detectors in human vision,” Vision Res. 21, 1115–1122 (1981).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1974 (1)

S. Klein, C. F. Stromeyer, L. Ganz, “The simultaneous spatial frequency shift: a dissociation between the detection and perception of gratings,” Vision Res. 14, 1421–1432 (1974).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1972 (1)

C. Blakemore, E. T. Garner, J. A. Sweet, “The site of size constancy,” Perception 1, 111–119 (1972).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1971 (1)

1970 (1)

1969 (1)

C. Blakemore, F. W. Campbell, “On the existence of neurones in the human visual system selectively sensitive to the orientation and size of retinal images,”J. Physiol. 203, 237–260 (1969).
[PubMed]

1968 (1)

F. W. Campbell, J. G. Robson, “Application of Fourier analysis to the visibility of gratings,”J. Physiol. 197, 551–566 (1968).
[PubMed]

1941 (1)

A. H. Holway, E. G. Boring, “Determinants of apparent visual size with distance variant,” Am. J. Psychol. 54, 21–37 (1941).
[CrossRef]

Beverley, K. I.

Blakemore, C.

C. Blakemore, E. T. Garner, J. A. Sweet, “The site of size constancy,” Perception 1, 111–119 (1972).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C. Blakemore, F. W. Campbell, “On the existence of neurones in the human visual system selectively sensitive to the orientation and size of retinal images,”J. Physiol. 203, 237–260 (1969).
[PubMed]

Boring, E. G.

A. H. Holway, E. G. Boring, “Determinants of apparent visual size with distance variant,” Am. J. Psychol. 54, 21–37 (1941).
[CrossRef]

Burbeck, C. A.

Campbell, F. W.

F. W. Campbell, J. Nachmias, J. Jukes, “Spatial-frequency discrimination in human vision,”J. Opt. Soc. Am. 60, 555–559 (1970).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C. Blakemore, F. W. Campbell, “On the existence of neurones in the human visual system selectively sensitive to the orientation and size of retinal images,”J. Physiol. 203, 237–260 (1969).
[PubMed]

F. W. Campbell, J. G. Robson, “Application of Fourier analysis to the visibility of gratings,”J. Physiol. 197, 551–566 (1968).
[PubMed]

Finney, D. J.

D. J. Finney, Probit Analysis (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, Mass.1971).

Ganz, L.

S. Klein, C. F. Stromeyer, L. Ganz, “The simultaneous spatial frequency shift: a dissociation between the detection and perception of gratings,” Vision Res. 14, 1421–1432 (1974).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Garner, E. T.

C. Blakemore, E. T. Garner, J. A. Sweet, “The site of size constancy,” Perception 1, 111–119 (1972).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Gelb, D. J.

Graham, N.

Hirsch, J.

Holway, A. H.

A. H. Holway, E. G. Boring, “Determinants of apparent visual size with distance variant,” Am. J. Psychol. 54, 21–37 (1941).
[CrossRef]

Hylton, R.

Jukes, J.

Klein, S.

S. Klein, C. F. Stromeyer, L. Ganz, “The simultaneous spatial frequency shift: a dissociation between the detection and perception of gratings,” Vision Res. 14, 1421–1432 (1974).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

McKee, S. P.

S. P. McKee, “The spatial requirements for fine stereoacuity,” Vision Res. 23, 191–198 (1983).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Nachmias, J.

Regan, D.

Robson, J. G.

A. B. Watson, J. G. Robson, “Discrimination at threshold: labelled detectors in human vision,” Vision Res. 21, 1115–1122 (1981).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. B. Sachs, J. Nachmias, J. G. Robson, “Spatial-frequency channels in human vision,”J. Opt. Soc. Am. 61, 1176–1186 (1971).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

F. W. Campbell, J. G. Robson, “Application of Fourier analysis to the visibility of gratings,”J. Physiol. 197, 551–566 (1968).
[PubMed]

Sachs, M. B.

Stromeyer, C. F.

S. Klein, C. F. Stromeyer, L. Ganz, “The simultaneous spatial frequency shift: a dissociation between the detection and perception of gratings,” Vision Res. 14, 1421–1432 (1974).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Sweet, J. A.

C. Blakemore, E. T. Garner, J. A. Sweet, “The site of size constancy,” Perception 1, 111–119 (1972).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Thomas, J. P.

Watson, A. B.

A. B. Watson, J. G. Robson, “Discrimination at threshold: labelled detectors in human vision,” Vision Res. 21, 1115–1122 (1981).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

A. B. Watson, “Detection and recognition of simple spatial terms,” NASA Tech. Memo. 84353 (Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., 1983).

Wilson, H. R.

Am. J. Psychol. (1)

A. H. Holway, E. G. Boring, “Determinants of apparent visual size with distance variant,” Am. J. Psychol. 54, 21–37 (1941).
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (8)

J. Opt. Soc. Am. A (4)

J. Physiol. (2)

F. W. Campbell, J. G. Robson, “Application of Fourier analysis to the visibility of gratings,”J. Physiol. 197, 551–566 (1968).
[PubMed]

C. Blakemore, F. W. Campbell, “On the existence of neurones in the human visual system selectively sensitive to the orientation and size of retinal images,”J. Physiol. 203, 237–260 (1969).
[PubMed]

Perception (1)

C. Blakemore, E. T. Garner, J. A. Sweet, “The site of size constancy,” Perception 1, 111–119 (1972).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Vision Res. (3)

S. P. McKee, “The spatial requirements for fine stereoacuity,” Vision Res. 23, 191–198 (1983).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

S. Klein, C. F. Stromeyer, L. Ganz, “The simultaneous spatial frequency shift: a dissociation between the detection and perception of gratings,” Vision Res. 14, 1421–1432 (1974).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

A. B. Watson, J. G. Robson, “Discrimination at threshold: labelled detectors in human vision,” Vision Res. 21, 1115–1122 (1981).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Other (3)

A. B. Watson, “Detection and recognition of simple spatial terms,” NASA Tech. Memo. 84353 (Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., 1983).

J. P. C. Southall, ed., Helmholtz’s Treatise on Physiological Optics, 1910 (Dover, New York, 1962), Vol. III.

D. J. Finney, Probit Analysis (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, Mass.1971).

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